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The case for washing your sheets with cold water

The case for washing your sheets with cold water

The case for washing your sheets with cold water

When the dreaded Laundry Day rolls around and it’s time to wash your sheets, you have a big decision to make.

No, it’s not whether you’re actually going to change and clean your sheets for the first time in months. You do know you should wash your sheets at least every two weeks, right? Even if you have eucalyptus sheets that stay cleaner for longer

That (hopefully unnecessary) disclaimer aside, the decision we’re talking about is whether to use hot or cold water when you wash your sheets. Spoiler alert: there’s a right answer. If you read the title of this blog, you can probably already guess what that answer is.

Let’s get into it.

Man holding purple pillow in front of his face

We see you hiding from washing your sheets — Busted!

Can cold water actually clean your sheets?

It’s important to get one point out of the way immediately — yes, cold water can get your sheets 100% certifiably clean. 

Who’s doing this certifying, you ask? Well, the famous Sheet Cleanliness Authority (SCA) hires inspectors who… never mind, just trust that it’s all very official. You get a certificate after each wash.

Even though hot water has a reputation for being ideal for cleaning laundry, cold water can get the job done just as well with the right detergent. Special cold-water laundry detergents use a different combination of surfactants and enzymes that can break down stains and dirt even in cool water.  

Some stains like blood and sweat even respond better to cold water. 

Washing sheets with cold water: Environmentally Hot or not? 

Okay, now you’re probably thinking — just cleaning sheets as well as hot water isn’t a great reason to switch to cold water, is it? Well, here’s where things get better.

If you’re like us and care about sustainability, using cold water to wash your sheets will beat using hot water every day of the week. Or whatever day you wash your sheets, anyway. 

It all comes down to saving energy. 

Woman laying face down on mattress

Just like collapsing onto your bed instead of doing stuff saves energy

Heating water to the right temperature for a hot water cycle of laundry takes a lot of energy. In fact, up to 90 percent of the energy your washer uses in a hot water cycle is spent on heating the water. NINETY percent!

Think of how much you can bring down your energy consumption simply by using a cold cycle instead of a hot cycle. Not only is cold water better for the environment, but it’s better for your wallet, too. 

ENERGY STAR estimates that you’ll save $66 annually by switching to cold water washes only. Might not sound like much at first, but every bit helps, especially with inflation so high. 

Level 2: Hang drying your sheets

If you want to build on the eco-friendliness of washing your sheets in cold water, consider changing your drying process, too.

You can finish your laundry day strong by hanging your sheets to dry instead of dumping them right into the dryer. Like choosing a cold cycle, opting to hang dry your sheets can save energy and save you money in the process. Plus, your sheets will get to avoid the rough treatment of the dryer which can shorten their lifespan. 

It might take a bit longer for your sheets to dry, that’s true. But in the end, you’ll have fresh-smelling sheets that will last longer, all while bringing down your carbon footprint. Seems like a pretty good deal. 

And while you’re at it, why not kick off your new washing and drying routine with some luxurious eucalyptus lyocell sheets and Nellie's Laundry Soda?   

Folded striped white sheets

They come 100% certified clean, we promise!

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